Objective: The main objective of this study was to assess the acceptance of the use of e-health applications by patients suffering from bronchial asthma and other chronic respiratory conditions.
Subjects and methods: The questionnaire, consisting of 73 items, was distributed among 200 patients remaining under the care of a tertiary-care pulmonology center in Krakow, Poland (return rate, 82.5%; n=165).
Results: The mean age (standard deviation) of respondents was 50.8 (14.9) years. Of the respondents, 48.5% (n=80) suffered from bronchial asthma, 29.1% (n=48) from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and 32.1% (n=53) from other respiratory diseases. The Internet was used by 58.2% (n=96) of respondents. The most frequent types of health-related information searched for online included diseases (59.4%) and treatments (medication, 54.2%; treatment options, 58.3%), as well as information about physicians and healthcare institutions (32.3% and 31.3%, respectively). The differences between acceptance scores for specific e-health applications were significant (analysis of variance, Friedman chi-squared=166.315, p<0.001). The respondents revealed the highest acceptance of e-health solutions allowing them to book appointments with physicians, access laboratory test results, view educational resources, and renew prescriptions. The acceptance of the most popular e-health applications depended on the duration of disease, respondent's age and education, and his or her use of computers and the Internet.
Conclusions: Patients suffering from chronic respiratory conditions demonstrate higher levels of acceptance of e-health applications such as appointment booking, prescription renewal, and access to information (laboratory test results, educational resources) than of solutions directly related to medical care (communication with healthcare providers, disease monitoring).